Bhubaneswar: Normal life was disrupted across the State in Tuesday as a large number of vehicles went off the roads and movement of several trains and private transport was halted due to the country-wide strike launched by various trade unions.
In the State capital Bhubaneswar, thousands of protestors came out in a massive rally and demonstrated outside the office of the East Coast Railway.
The bandh evoked a mixed response in neighbouring Cuttack. Though public sector banks downed their shutters, shops and business establishments did business as usual. “The bandh was peaceful. There were no reports of violence in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” a senior police officer said.
The protestors also squatted on the roads and railway tracks and burnt tyres in different places of the State.
In steel city of Rourkela, protestors shut down different banks and central government offices. A spokesman of the Rourkela Steel Plant said functioning of the plant was normal with about 97% attendance.
Normal life was paralyzed in Sambalpur and other areas of the western Odisha. Schools and colleges in these parts remained closed.
The bandh evoked a lukewarm response in Maoist-hit Koraput, Rayagada and Nabarangpur districts, sources said. Barring disruption of banking services, shops remained open and public transport system was unaffected in those regions.
The strike, which has secured the support of around 5000 unions affiliated to all the major trade unions cutting across party lines, is to protest price rise, corruption, violation of labour rights, free market policies and disinvestment which would result in loss of jobs.
The unions are also demanding a social security net for all unorganised sector workers by creating a national social security fund, enforcement of basic labour laws and stringent action against violators.